Back in 2005, Ikea launched a virtual assistant by the name Anna that functioned as the first mainstream chatbot. Consumers were excited about Anna and could ask the chatbot about store hours, Swedish meatballs, parts and prices. However, after about ten years, Anna was shut down by Ikea, claiming that customers were not satisfied. Experts saw the move by Ikea to shut down Anna as unwise and too soon considering it was during this time that chatbots were increasingly being used.
Chatbots serve as perfect tools for conversational commerce, which could be described as the activity of engaging customers in an effort to offer recommendations, simplify the process of shopping and get feedback. Therefore, this is not a new idea at all. Before the discovery of the internet, commerce was mainly conversational, and people could converse with each other as a way of researching, discovering and purchasing products.
Therefore, with a wide range of messaging apps such as WeChat, Kik and Facebook Messenger each one hosting numerous users worldwide, it is prudent for companies around the world to invest in technologies that allow for instant and personal connections with customers. This can only be achieved if a qualified virtual assistant provider like Inteladesk is hired. Since the company has provided artificial intelligence solutions to thousands of happy businesses, you should expect word class solutions from them.
Progress of Chatbots
Moreover, the traditional customer service is not as effective as it was some years back and this is one of the reasons why the need for conversational commerce has rapidly increased over the years. In a recent research conducted by experts in the world of artificial intelligence, it was discovered that most customers expect businesses to be available around the clock. This means that people are not fond of waiting on the phone for endless hours to find answers to their pressing questions that chatbots can solve within 30 seconds only.
Because the chatbot world is still in its early stages, there has only been a lot of potential rather than success so far. However, it is prudent to bear in mind that conversational commerce is a wise option provided that it is focused on a certain vertical. The vertical focus here is more about the experience of customers as well as having the relevant data.
The major drawback that faces conversational commerce and artificial intelligence is the fact that generic chatbots can sometimes result in frustrating consumer experiences. Although some chatbots are capable of replicating a sense of humor and learn some manners, they might struggle to provide the required assistance in specialized business duties.
Future of Chatbots
The fact that customers want conversational commerce to emerge successfully is some good news. According to reports, approximately forty-five percent plus people prefer communicating to businesses via messaging rather than emails. Therefore, businesses should just be patient for a few more years and wait for chatbots to develop according to the customers’ requirements.
Additionally, chatbots learn in the same way as humans, and once they have become sophisticated, they are in a position to process data related the questions commonly asked by consumers and how consumers talk. The fact that people now have sufficient technological infrastructure that is capable of supporting chatbots on various chat apps and social media platforms, developers now have a chance to practice with the additional data.
Currently, it appears as the retail industry is leading with conversational commerce. This could be because most people prefer shopping for basic products such as makeup, clothing, and flowers online more than ever. Therefore, it becomes very easy to provide users with accurate and personalized information whenever they require it. This is the main reason why companies such as Sephora, Burberry, and Tommy Hilfiger have begun including conversational commerce on their digital plans already. Other companies including travel have as well begun incorporating chatbots.
Different customers tend to communicate with their preferred brands differently, but in most cases, they tend to have similar needs. Therefore, there is need for chatbots to do extremely well at several fundamental functions including starting new orders, canceling or modifying orders among other predictable functions. Chatbots are able to learn fast when they gather a variety of data that deals with similar tasks’ variations.
Chatbots are gradually becoming better each day and the more people interact with them, the better they become. Only experienced artificial intelligence companies like Inteladesk can develop the best solution for your business.